Mix me a metaphor, make it a large one.


Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.


Write about a metaphor you used in one of your books. What does it represent?


I had to think about this one, largely because I have never written any of my stories to be any more than what is on the face of them. To be honest, I only saw the metaphor in this particular one when readers and reviewers started to point it out to me.

They were talking about a planet, at least to begin with. I suppose, if you’re going to go, why not go large?


This is not just any planet.

Reevis was the Ribbonworld, a planet of extremes. Orbiting its star, it didn’t rotate like Earth. Instead, it was like the moon is to us.

That meant that one side was permanently facing its sun, exposed to solar radiation, whilst the other side only saw the cold of space.

The hot side was chaotic, boiling lakes of lava and waves of molten metal crashing on a rocky shore. That contrasted with the frozen side, with its calm serenity and ice sculptures fashioned by meteor strikes.

In between these two extremes was the ribbon, the inhabitable strip that separated them. And there, under the domes, lived the inhabitants, working for Balcom Industrial.


Three different versions of the cover.


I’ve been told that my description of the planet is a metaphor for the eternal battle between good and evil, along with the thin line that holds everything together. And when I thought about it, I suppose that they were correct.

The story mirrors that, there are good and bad characters, as well as some that could be either. There are moments of extreme action and passages of slower appreciation of the beauty of the setting.

Coupled with truths, lies and one man trying to make sense of it all.

That might make it sound very profound, but at its heart, it’s just a thriller with a murder, a missing heiress and corporate corruption on a galactic scale. To me, Ribbonworld was no more than part of a series, The Balcom Dynasty. That story was all I was thinking about when I wrote it.

I set it on Reevis because I thought it sounded like a cool place, it was certainly fun to create the world. I can’t claim credit for the concept, Asimov had a ribbonworld in his Foundation series, I just wanted to see what I could make of his idea.


The things that people see in my words, the conclusions they draw and how they interpret all of it, has always been a mystery to me.

Of course, once I had been made aware of that connection, I started to wonder if there were any deeper meanings in more of my titles. I’m now waiting for reviewers to tell me what they’ve seen in them.


More importantly than that, I would love to know how I was writing things that others could see but I wasn’t aware of or consciously planning.


Until next time.



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8 Responses

    • Richard Dee

      It’s amazing, I write this stuff but I never see the connections that people point out to me.

  1. Jack Eason

    I dare say one could be found in one of my books, not that I’ve looked. Too busy writing them at the time…

    • Richard Dee

      It’s always a surprise to me, what people see in my words.

  2. Daryl Devore

    you wrote – The things that people see in my words, the conclusions they draw and how they interpret all of it, has always been a mystery to me.
    I so can relate to that. We write our stories and our readers interpret them.

    tweeted.

    • Richard Dee

      It’s amazing to find what other people see in a simple (as far as I was concerned) story.

  3. K. Williams

    Readers & reviewers are amazing for digging up the treasure in our books. I love to hear their takes. Some really profound stuff sometimes!

    • Richard Dee

      So true, it never fails to give me a thrill when I discover how my words have been interpreted.

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